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Smoking During Pregnancy
 
Here you can learn about how smoking affects women and what you can do if you are smoking when pregnant.  
  
How does smoking affect women?
 
Smoking is different for women and men:    
  • Companies that sell tobacco target women. 
  • More women smoke to avoid gaining weight than men.  
  • Smoking when pregnant can lead to health problems for the women and her baby.   
  • Some research shows that women who smoke have a higher risk of heart disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than men who smoke. 
  • There are links between smoking and women’s fertility and early menopause.  
  • Also, women are more likely than men to get the bone disease, osteoporosis.  The chance of getting osteoporosis is higher for women who smoke. This is because nicotine found in cigarettes stops vitamin D from absorbing in the body.  Vitamin D is needed for strong bones because it helps your bones absorb calcium. 
 
How can smoking affect pregnancy?
 
A pregnant women is connected to the fetus by an organ called the placenta.  The placenta sends what mom eats, drinks and breathes to the fetus. The nicotine, carbon monoxide and tars in cigarettes can be passed through the placenta if the pregnant woman smokes.
 
Because of the carbon monoxide in cigarettes, less food and oxygen are passed to the fetus.  As a result, women who smoke often have babies that weigh less and may have less developed organs such as the brain or lungs. A baby who weighs less is more likely to have health problems and usually stays in the hospital longer.
 
What can I do? 
 
This may seem like a lot of information, but, there is good news!!! You can smoke less, quit smoking or stay quit. We are here to help. Keep reading the other pages on this PREGNETS website to get help with reducing or quitting.